F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Redditch United

Hednesford Town

Hay (17), Clements (22)

(0) 0

(2) 2



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Darren Campion


North Ferriby United (A) 24.9.11

Hednesford make it into the hat for the second qualifying round draw for the first time in four seasons this afternoon after a stroll in the sun against a Redditch United side in transition after a tough start to the campaign

After drawing with Matlock Town in midweek, Hednesford manager Rob Smith made one change to his side; Elliott Durrell, still feeling his way back to full fitness, was brought back in at the expense of Jamey Osborne out wide

For many Hednesford supporters, there was hope that this game would end a hoodoo dating back to the 2007-2008 season - the last time the Pitmen made the second qualifying round. Since then, the Pitmen have been humbled by Atherstone United, Pegasus Juniors and Newcastle Town - all lower league sides - and fallen at the first hurdle

The Pitmen, cheered on by another sizeable away day following, kicked down the Valley Stadium slope in the first half, and survived an early scare for as Cameron Jones threatened the break clear of a static Hednesford defence on four minutes; Dan Crane was alert to smother the ball before the Redditch man could shoot

Gary Hay, who made a goalscoring contribution on his debut in midweek, started the game strongly as he looked to plunder a goal against one of his numerous former clubs. On seven minutes, his powerfully struck shot from twelve yards was well fielded by former Kidderminster Harriers keeper Dean Coleman

The Pitmen started to grow in confidence, with much of their play coming down the left-hand side via Chris Shaw and skipper Darren Campion. One such ball in from Campion caused panic amongst the Redditch defenders, but no one in a blue shirt gambled and the ball ran wide of goal

On seventeen minutes, the Pitmen's crisp passing and constant goal threat paid dividends as Hay made it two goals in two games since he left Chasetown last week. Durrell, looking fit and lively, teased his marker before stealing half a yard and crossing sublimely into the path of Hay, who had the simple task of guiding the ball past Coleman from six yards out

The game was seemingly all Hednesford at this point, as Chris Clements picked the ball up in midfield and was allowed time and space to shoot wide of Coleman's far post

Clements, looking much more the creative influence of last season in recent games, grabbed the second goal of the afternoon on twenty-two minutes as Hay teed up the former Crewe man eighteen yards out. Clements' powerful low shot looked to be heading straight into the arms of Coleman, but to the horror of the Redditch stopper - and the delight of the Hednesford supporters behind his goal - the ball somehow rolled through his legs and into the net

Pressure from the home side continued as the first half entered its latter stages, with Hay, Wellecomme and Clements all giving Redditch a hard time defensively. Hay was looking particularly impressive, powering his way through two challenges on the edge of the penalty area before getting his shot all wrong and scuffing wide

Two minutes later, Clements also made a hash of his shot, as he too scuffed a shot well, well wide of goal from a good twenty yards out

Redditch finally managed a shot on goal on thirty-six minutes, but a horribly wide effort from Jones brought cheers of derision from the Hednesford supporters at the opposite end

The same player also fired into the side netting five minutes before the break, testing Kyle Haynes down the Redditch left before firing only inches wide of goal. Crane, in all fairness, had the angled covered at his near post

Half time gave Redditch a chance to regroup after a pretty average first-half showing. Kicking downhill in the second half should have given them a boost, but it was the Pitmen who continued to enjoy the better of the game after the restart

Just two minutes into the second half, Hay had a great chance to add to his tally as he got on the end of a Clements ball. Under pressure from Coleman, the veteran striker fired just wide of goal

Wellecomme's aerial threat was evident from a Campion corner kick on fifty-three minutes, heading over the crossbar after reaching the ball ahead of the Redditch defence

Campion's game ended on the hour mark, as the skipper made way for Jamey Osborne. This move saw Durrell move to the left-hand side and Osborne take up a position wide right

Shaw's marauding run past two Redditch players saw the left-back set himself up for a cross on sixty-three minutes but wasted the chance to supply a good cross and spooned the ball out of play from an excellent attacking position

Marvin Robinson was given a run-out against his former club on sixty-seven minutes, as he was introduced in place of Wellecomme

Dunkley - who had what seemed a perfectly good goal disallowed in midweek - thought he had finished Redditch off as he headed a Clements corner goalwards, only to be denied by a goal-line clearance by Tesfa Robinson

Durrell's game was ended after another useful seventy-three minutes, with the winger replaced by Phil Clarke as he tired. This move saw more changes to the formation, with Jamey Osborne switching flanks to accommodate Clarke

The game seemed to peter out somewhat in the closing stages, with both sides content to settle for the result. Robinson thought he had earned the Pitmen a penalty kick after being pulled down just inside the penalty area, only for the referee to turn away Hednesford protests

Despite the one-sided nature of the previous eighty-nine minutes, Redditch forced Crane into a smart save in the final minute, with Joe Harris firing towards goal and Crane turning the ball away from goal with a good save

It had been a regulation win for the Pitmen over the ninety minutes as their extra experience and Northern Premier League strength saw them over the line against a Redditch side with plenty of improvement needed. Monday afternoon's draw remains regional so there is a fair chance of the Pitmen coming up against one of their many local rivals once more in the next round of the competition. They take a full week off now before returning to league action next weekend with a trip to North Ferriby United

Redditch United: Coleman, Ager, Wood, Warmer ©, Nottingham, Robinson, Jones, Moses-Garvey (Knott 61), Deards, Harris (McKenzie 72), L. Osborne (Dinsmore 66).     Subs Unused: Chambaud, Bedford, Clarke, Sweeney

Hednesford Town: Crane, Haynes, Shaw, Monteiro, Dunkley, Denny, Durrell (Clarke 73), Clements, Wellecomme (Robinson 66), Hay, Campion © (J. Osborne 61)       Subs Unused: Gomes, Quinn

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